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International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) Warns ‘Bug Poachers’

International Business Machines Corp.(NYSE:IBM) Earnings

Multinational technology firm International Business Machines Corp.  has issued a warning regarding bug poaching, in which hackers target enterprises. This is a method used by hackers to extort money out of their victims by gaining access to private or unauthorized data by hacking into servers, The Register reported.

The data (which is often sensitive or private) is stolen, and the hackers then demand exceptional amounts of money from the firms they stole the data from. In return, the hackers will show the firm how they were able to infiltrate their servers & bypass their security measures.

International Business Machines Corp.(NYSE:IBM) Earnings

Ethical Hackers?

Senior researcher at International Business Machines Corp. , John Kuhn said that “These criminals aren’t afraid of penetrating the organization’s network to steal data. They argue their methods prove the point that the organization’s system is vulnerable.”

John Kuhn went on to explain that the hackers don’t immediately release or destroy the data, and they attempt to behave in a way that is perceived to be ethical. While they may be helping the firms that they have targeted (by improving their security systems), they are breaking the law & helping firms to make their stored data more secure is certainly not their primary objective. The hackers are trying to “paint the picture” that they are offering a valuable service to businesses.

 IBM: Victims Shouldn’t Pay “Bug Poachers”

The only reason why these hackers are stealing the data in the first place is to demonstrate that a companies’ defenses are insufficient & weak. This then allows the “bug poachers” to convince the victims to hand over money. The hackers will then reveal how they penetrated their servers, thus allowing the firms to implement additional security measures or fix issues. If firms refuse to pay the hackers, there would be no incentive for “bug poachers” to steal data.

IBM’s Background

International Business Machines Corp.  is a well-established firm, operating in the technology industry. The firm, which is based in Armonk, has invented many internationally used devices, such as the automated teller machine (ATM), the floppy disk & the magnetic stripe card. The firm has been trading for more than 100 years, & has become a highly capable, innovative business. In 2012, IBM was ranked by Fortune as the 2nd largest US firm in terms of number of workers (with nearly 450,000 employees) and the 4th largest US firm based on market capitalization.

International Business Machines Corp.  is led by Virginia M. Rometty  as CEO, President & Chairwoman. She is the first female to lead the company. As trading closed on the May 31, the company’s stock was trading at $153.27, giving the firm a market capitalization of $147.8 billion. IBM acquired Ustream for around $150 million in early this year.

The warning issued by IBM regarding “bug poaching” indicates that the issue is growing, & more firms are at risk to this sort of malicious activity. In excess of 30 firms have been hit by this issue within the past year.  As well as not giving in to hacker’s demands, it has also been advised that companies who store a lot of data on servers should review & improve their current security systems/defenses.

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